Congratulations to Bret Shaw who has been promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure with the Department of Life Sciences Communication. Shaw also serves as Environmental Communication Specialist for University of Wisconsin UW Cooperative Extension.
His research over the past few years has focused on how to develop effective social marketing campaigns to encourage pro-environmental behaviors with a specific focus on protecting lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater in Wisconsin. In collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources and other partners, Shaw has been helping to lead the state’s social marketing efforts to promote behaviors that prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and encourage lakeshore property owners to adopt more natural shorelines to increase wildlife habitat and improve water quality.
He has also conducted research in other conservation contexts such as encouraging long-term commitment among volunteer citizen-stream monitors, understanding public opinion dynamics related to biofuels, promoting residential storm water management to protect watersheds, and providing strategic research insights about hunter recruitment and retention. Shaw has also worked for many years developing and evaluating technology-based solutions to address health concerns, and he is widely published in this area.
As a tenured professor, Shaw will continue to focus on how to use insights from strategic communication and social marketing to encourage conservation behaviors and respond to emerging natural resource issues in Wisconsin. New research directions for Shaw include collaborations such as exploring how attitudes (e.g., tolerance for co-existence, support for lethal control) shift prior to the state’s first legal wolf hunt and then after the season is over and providing market research insights to encourage tourists to select lodging, restaurants and other businesses that adopt business practices to protect the environment and engaging these same enterprises to continue to improve sustainability as part of their business practices.